Sport

Conventional racing wisdom has it that speed, rather than an abundance of stamina, is the most important attribute in a potential King George VI Chase winner, hence the proliferation of specialists over shorter distances than three miles lining up at Kempton on Boxing Day.

David Usborne: The vice-presidential warning: don't do a John McCain

Among the first to raise the Palin spectre has been the man credited with bringing her on in 2008
Willie Mullins (right) trains Boston Bob, the favourite for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle today

Sea Of Thunder can drown out big noise Boston Bob

Willie Mullins has described Boston Bob as a match for any novice he has ever brought to the Festival, which guarantees he will start a hot favourite for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle today. It would be no surprise to see him look a Gold Cup winner in the making, but the odds will be very short about a horse running on quick ground for the first time.

Ruby Walsh riding Big Buck's earlier this year

Big Buck's has World at his feet for another year

It is going to happen some day. And only when it does, perhaps, will everyone truly appreciate what has gone before.

Julianne Moore plays Sarah Palin in the new US drama ‘Game Change’

Palin feared the worst about TV portrayal – and she was right

Juliannne Moore is cast as Alaska's presidential hopeful in a recreation of 2008 election race

Mitt Romney wins Ohio but fails to shake off rivals

Mitt Romney will be able to boast his way forward in the Republican nomination campaign today after scoring a respectable tally of states in last night’s ‘Super Tuesday’ contests. But a squeaker in Ohio where he dodged a bullet told the alternative story that he is still struggling to seal the deal with the party grassroots.

David Usborne: Republicans can choose between scary, nuts, or Romney

What's changed is that he is doing even worse among Republican grassroots voters than four years ago

Santorum (left) and Romney ended in what was essentially a dead heat

Rupert Cornwell: What counts now is cash – and Romney is winning

To paraphrase Winston Churchill's words about the battle of El Alamein and its place in the Second World War, this month of January does not signify the end of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, nor even necessarily the beginning of the end. But it is very much the end of the beginning.

Rupert Cornwell: As the first battle ends, which of these Republicans can win over the nation?

Of Romney's rivals, only Ron Paul has a genuine national organisation, built up in previous runs

The Obama campaign has not officially begun, but the re-election headquarters in Chicago is buzzing, with 200 workers on board

Inside Obama's Chicago machine

As the Republican primaries get under way, David Usborne is granted exclusive access to the crack team in the President's home town who hope to neutralise the enemy and return their man to the White House

Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista met voters yesterday in a restaurant in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to prepare the ground for Tuesday's caucus

Romney: a man whose Buggins' turn has come

Perry, Paul, Cain, Santorum, Bachmann or Gingrich? None of the above, it seems

The landing side of Becher's Brook has been raised

James Lawton: Kean's show of solidarity with Wenger only encourages admirers to remain in denial

Is anyone saying that Wenger did not have the means to make a better job of preparing for this now crumbling season? Kean suggests as much

David Usborne: The hobbits have had a gun to Boehner's head from the start

The Tea Party and the 80-odd freshman Republicans it helped send to Congress last November had a good reason to celebrate last night with something with bubbles in it rather than milk and sugar. Yet such is their zeal for constraining government it was barely able to savour victory even when handed it by "cave-in" Barack Obama.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there